Aspirations, metamorphosis, inconvenience, wisdom …
The Saku Aikido newsletter “Cosmos,” which began to be published three years ago with a mind toward the construction of the Aikido Saku Dojo, reported its activities to supporters with the previous issue, about the dojo inauguration ceremony and celebration on April 30, last year. I think it fulfilled its role thus. In the future, we will have to improve the space regarding the stated purpose of the construction of Saku Dojo. In other words, we must utilize the dojo broadly and make it a space for realizing Aikido from a global perspective.
“You have to take responsibility for your face after the age of 40.”
“The heart/mind seeks form, and form advances the heart/mind.”
At some point, we feel that our thoughts and studies are overly intellectual or rational, and from there we move gradually toward something that actually produces movement, that is, something consisting of intuition. It must become something written on the individual’s face, not in books, and manifested in every action, every word. If that individual’s appearance, personality, even words and thinking/education are disparate, it is odd and incomplete.
Confucius said, “At 15 years old, I determined to study hard. At 30 I became independent. At 40 I came to stop becoming confused and perplexed. At 50 I came to know my life’s heavensent purpose. At 60 I became able to listen to others straightforwardly (‘sunao’). At 70 I became able to do as I wanted and not fall off the Way as a person.” In this way, he tells of the process of self-development according to age. Also, in the book “Huainanzi”, there are “At 50 years of age, know the 49 that are not**,” and “60 years worth of changes at 60 years of age*** “. When one reaches sixty, one usually stops changing. It becomes fixed, rigid. Arteriosclerosis, mental hardening, and personality hardening occur. It is said that those who are learning the Way, at 60 years old, have to make that many years worth of change.
I have always considered Aikido as a way to self-development and self-actualization. It feels like a long way to go, but I think we must make more effort than ever before. (January 1996)
* The title is translated incorrectly. But it sounded fun and possibly fitting, so it remains! The actual meaning is, “15 years old, 30, 40, 50 …”
** Be able to look back at one’s life thus far and know that there is still much to do. Although the tendency might be to feel that one knows how life works and all the compromises that must be made. The ‘49 years’ possibly refers to the rest of one’s life.
*** At 60, one has more changes to make and hopefully that much more practice at changing. Looking back at the previous 59 years, one may see things that one thought were correct or good but now think are wrong; so from now on, may one change we’ll so that one does not waste any more time spent wrongly.